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THE MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL

Germany / USA, 1999 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Wim Wenders

"Wim Wenders' new pic is almost a compendium of the director's lifetime themes and obsessions - American trash culture, a fascination with what's cool on the music scene and a story in which lost souls seek redemption." - David Stratton, Variety

Special Agent Skinner (Mel Gibson) is called in to investigate the death of Izzy Goldkiss, the son of a media magnate. His focus is the decrepit Million Dollar Hotel, a downtown LA repository for a menagerie of kooks, drunks, and flakes. The question on everyone's lips is: who pushes Izzy from the roof of the hotel?

The film is based on a story by U2's Bono, who, with a collection of pals including Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, also provided the fantastic score. Wenders employs an ensemble of eccentrics, focussing here on the mentally befuddled Tom Tom and his romantic obsession Eloise (Milla Jovovish). It is their platonic love affair and Tom Tom's interaction with super uptight Skinner that propels this curious yarn. Exceptional photography and numerous fine supporting players and cameos (Jimmy Smits, Amanda Plummer, a fleeting glimpse of tim Roth and most of U2) explain why Wenders' film was chosen to open the 50th Berlin Film Festival.

See also...

BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB

Ry Cooder and Win Wenders have known each other for 20 years. Cooder wrote the haunting music for Wenders projects Paris, Texas (1984) and The End of Violence (1997). In 1996 he brought a band to ... More »

WINGS OF DESIRE

The heroes of the film are angels, unemployed guardian angels who have been hanging around Berlin ever since the end of World War II, having lost most of the powers they once owned: to whisper advice ... More »

KINGS OF THE ROAD

Two men cross the middle of Germany, from Luneburg to Hof along the East German frontier. Bruno travels in a moving van that he uses to camp in; he is a projectionist and repairs movie equipment ... More »

WRONG MOVEMENT

Young Wilhelm Meister is on the way: from Bonn, past a castle on the Rhine, through a suburb of Frankfurt and on to the great mountain, the Zugspitze. He is escaping from boredom and dullness, and he ... More »

ALICE IN THE CITIES

German director Wim Wenders was represented at iast year's festival by The Goalkeeper's Fear of the Penalty Kick. His later film, Alice in the Cities, is a chronologically ordered film about an ... More »

WRONG MOVEMENT

Young Wilhelm Meister is on the way: from Bonn, past a castle on the Rhine, through a suburb of Frankfurt and on to the great mountain, the Zugspitze. He is escaping from boredom and dullness, and he ... More »

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